The Hoya Bella Louis Bois is a variegated version of the popular Hoya Bella. It is a likewise a rare houseplant that’s stunning to look at not only because of its bi-colored foliage but also its stunning, fragrant blooms.
The plant itself features gorgeous pointed leaves that have a lance-like shape. The margins have a dark-green color which the center of the leave has light green hue.
Like its parent plant, it has long vining stems that are usually allowed to trail because they look beautiful when kept in a hanging basket.
Meanwhile, its flowers grow in clusters with each bloom having a star shape and a purple-pink middle.
The plant is native to Asia especially parts of Nepal. India and the Himalayas.
It is one of a few Hoya Bella Variants.
The others include the Hoya Bella Albomarginata which has green leaves and white margins. There is also Variegated Hoya Bella that features different variegations from the Hoya Bella Louis Bois.
Hoya Bella Louis Bois Plant Care
The Hoya Bella Louis Bois enjoys staying in a well-lit area indoors. Because our homes have ceilings and walls that block out the sun, the amount of light it will get indoors and outdoors is different.
This means you want to treat it differently in both situations.
Indoors, the best position is somewhere with bright, indirect light. it will likewise be happy with medium and low light. However, do note that the less light there is, the lower the chances of the plant flowering.
Therefore, you want to be wary of low light areas if you want to see blossoms.
Ideally, give the plant lots of morning sun and afternoon shade. it can tolerate direct morning sun and will actually appreciate it. This kind of light is gentler than that of the afternoons so there’s no problem.
However, try to avoid direct sun between 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. when the sun is most intense. The same is true for summer sunshine.
The intensity can burn the plant’s leaves, although the plant itself will survive without a problem.
Outdoors, you want to be more cautious about direct sun because there are no walls or ceilings to temper the light. Thus, partial shade under a tree, patio or balcony are the best.
Anything with dappled or diffused light is ideal.
Keep the Hoya Bella Louis Bois away from strong afternoon sun (and long hours of exposure to this). It cannot tolerate harsh light and too much heat from the sun.
Finally, it needs at least 6 hours of light daily.
Temperature is similar to light in that you want to be aware of the differences between indoor conditions and outdoor environments.
Outside, the plant grows best in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 through 12. These regions have sunshine all year long and you’ll find them along the southern coasts of the country including Florida and Texas.
These locales have climates that closely resemble the tropical Asian weather the Hoya Bella Louis Bois is used to. That is, warm throughout the year with no snow during winter.
If you live somewhere colder, avoid temperatures below 50 degrees as the plant’s growth will slow or stop in conditions colder than this.
Indoors, it is much easier to care for the Hoya Bella Louis Bois because tropical weather is similar to what most home temperatures. The reason for this is because we humans enjoy these conditions as well.
So, as long as your home’s temperure stays between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, it will grow happily.
As such, avoid air conditioners, heaters, and cold drafts as these will cause temperature to fluctuate.
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The Hoya Bella Louis Bois prefers humid environments (between 50% and 80%). However, it does not have any issues with average room humidity provided that you keep levels at 40% and higher.
That said, it will grow faster and produce more foliage if you can maintain higher humidity levels.
If you live somewhere with lower humidity or dry air, you can use a humidifier or mist the plant. Another option is to place the plant in a water tray on top of rocks.
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How Often to Water Hoya Bella Louis Bois
When you water your Hoya Bella Louis Bois is based on the time of year.
During the warmer months, the plant needs more regular watering. That’s’ because there’s more sunshine and higher temperatures which causes the soil to dry faster.
In the colder months, frequency will decrease due to the colder weather and lack of sunshine.
As such, the plant will need watering once a week (more or less) during the warmer months (plus or minus a few days depending on how hot it gets).
And around once every 14 to 18 days during the winter depending on how cold it gets.
Because of the large discrepancy, it is easier to check the soil for dryness before you add more water.
You can stick your finger into the soil down to the second knuckle. This comes out to about 2 inches deep.
If the soil is dry at that depth, you can water the plant. Avoid doing so before that as it will increase the risk for root rot.
As a general rule, the plant does not need a lot of water. And because it can be prone to overwatering, it is better to stay on the drier side of things.
The Hoya Bella Louis Bois also appreciate thorough watering. This means flooding the soil until the water drips from under the pot.
Then allowing the soil to completely drain before placing it back to its original location.
This will keep the roots well-hydrated but avoid leaving them standing in water.
Hoya Bella Louis Bois Potting Soil
In order to achieve the soak and dry watering method above, it is important to use well-draining soil. This way the excess moisture that you flood the root ball with drains off quickly.
Similarly, when you water the plant, the soil does not retain too much of the liquid that it leaves the roots in water.
Therefore, the best soil for Hoya Bella Louis Bois is lightweight, airy soil with good drainage.
You can use different kinds of soils and combinations of ingredients as long as they will drain excess water fast.
You can use any of the following potting mixes for Hoya Bella Louis Bois. All of them work really well for the plant.
- 1 part peat moss, 1 part perlite and 1 part orchid bark
- 1 part orchid mix, 1 part potting soil and 1 part perlite
- 1 part potting soil with 1 part coconut coir and 1 part perlite
The most important things are that the:
- soil drainage quickly
- does not retain moisture to keep the soil wet or soggy
- good aeration
- does not get compacted
Also make sure the pot you use has drainage holes so the moisture that drains from the soil can exit the container (and not pool at the bottom).
The Hoya Bella Louis Bois is a light feeder. But it does need nutrients from fertilizer.
Therefore, it is important to feed the plant but avoid giving it too much or doing it more often than required.
The only time you need to fertilize the plant is during the spring and summer. You can extend this into early or mid fall if it continues to grow.
Avoid doing so in the winter as growth will slow down due to the cold weather.
Use a liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength. A balance formulation or all-purpose fertilizer works really well.
Try to use a high nitrogen plant food because the Hoya Bella Louis Bois is a foliate plant. This will encourage leaf development.
When the plant is about of to bloom, you can use a high phosphorus fertilizer which will help with flowering. A bloom booster or blooming fertilizer are both good choices.
Flowers / Blooms
The Hoya Bella Louis Bois produces beautiful blooms so it is something you’ll want to encourage.
These appear in clusters that form spherical balls with anywhere from 10-30 flowers making up each ball.
The flowers themselves are small, waxy and have a white star-shaped background. The center is purple-pink in color that’s actually a smaller star (if you look closely enough). Although the outer and inner star-shapes are different.
One thing worth noting is that the Hoya Bella Louis Bois does not flower as much as the regular Hoya Bella. Therefore, you want to cherish them when they do bloom.
Also, you want to give them the best environment possible to do so.
Flowering takes a while to occur (between 1 to 2 months) so you do need to be patient from the time it begins to look like it is blooming until the flowers show up.
To help increase the chances of blooms:
- Make sure you give it lots of bright, indirect light
- Keep humidity at least 40%. The higher the better though.
- Leave the plant underpotted as this improves its chances of blooming.
- Feed the plant with a high phosphorus fertilizer.
- Don’t prune the peduncles after the flowers fade.
The reason why not pruning the peduncles is that they are perennials. Therefore, they will keep producing flowers through the years.
However, if you cut them off, you’re basically eliminating the future flowering potential.
Additionally, this also means that you need to wait for new peduncles to grow before they can flower. This will make you miss at least one growing season of blooms.
The plant itself can grow to between 1 to 3 feet tall. And it is best known for its vining stems.
In the wild, it is a natural climber where it goes up tree trunks in order to get as much sunlight as possible (since the larger trees and their leaves block most of the light).
So, the higher the plant can climb, the more light it get can get.
That said, its long stems will also trail where it looks beautiful. This is why most owners will keep it in a hanging pot or basket and allow its stems and leaves to drape down.
The lovely yellow-light green variegations also make them stand out when grown this way.
That said, as the Hoya Bella Louis Bois gets longer, its vines can grow in different directions which makes it look unruly at times.
Thus, you do need to prune it every so often. Although in most cases light trimming is all it needs.
How to Propagate Hoya Bella Louis Bois
The most efficient way to propagate your Hoya Bella Louis Bois is by using stem cuttings. Stem propagation lets you keep the plant’s variegations which is something that it not guaranteed if you grow them from seeds.
Keep in mind that variegations are mutations from the plants DNA or caused by lack of chlorophyll. Therefore, it is specific to that plant.
They are also the minority in that the odds of them happening is small for each batch of seeds (something none at all).
By propagating from stem cuttings, you’re taking part of the plant (and its genetic material) to grow new variegated plants.
To do so:
Cut a healthy stem. Try to get a cutting that is 4-6 inches long with at least 1-2 nodes on it and a few leaves.
Make sure that the cutting tool you use is sterile so you don’t pass any pathogens to the plant.
You can propagate the cutting in water or in soil.
When propagating in water, place the cutting and nodes underwater. Keep any leaves above the liquid or remove them if they get into the water. Replace the water once a week.
When propagating in soil, put the cutting into well-draining soil in a small container. Keep the soil moist but avoid getting it too wet or soggy.
Keep the container in a moderately warm location that has bright, indirect light. Try to find a spot with good humidity as well.
In about 4-6 weeks, the roots will grow longer and increase in volume.
Once they reach 1-2 inches long for the water propagated cuttings, you can move it to a pot with soil.
How to Repot or Transplant Hoya Bella Louis Bois
In most cases, once you find a good spot for the plant, just let it be. It does not like being disturbed a lot.
This is especially true when it is about to bloom or flowering.
If you move it or repot it, the plant can abort its flowering process or the blooms can drop. So, try to leave it alone.
Similarly, it only needs to be repotted once very 2-3 years as it enjoys being snug in its container. This actually increases its chances of flowers. So, you’ll see many Hoya Bella Louis Bois underpotted.
Once it is time to repot, choose a container that is 2 inches wider. Avoid going too big or too deep as this will increase the risk of overwatering since there will be a lot more moisture when the soil is wet compared to the size of the roots.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
No, the Hoya Bella Louis Bois is non-toxic to both people and pets. This makes it cat and dog safe. It is also safe to keep around young, curious children as they don’t pose any risk of poisoning.
That said, you still want to keep your pets and kids from chewing or ingesting the plant since they can choke or gag on the leaves or stems which can lead to vomiting or stomach discomfort.
Problems & Troubleshooting
Spider mites, mealybugs and aphids are common pests that may attach your Hoya Bella Louis Bois. Fungus gnats are another insect but will usually occur when there is more moisture.
In general, the healthier the plant is and the less dust there is on its leaves, the lower the chances of pests.
Therefore, it is important to keep the plant healthy and clean its foliage every now and then.
Still, you want to regularly inspect for any bugs since you want to catch them early if they happen. They’re easy to get rid of when small in number. But become more problematic once they become infestations.
The plant is prone to mold, blight and leaf spot when its foliage stays wet for long periods of time. Similarly, overwatering increases the risk of root rot.
Thus, excess moisture is something you want to avoid at all costs.
Keeping the plant on the dry side reduces the risk of bacterial and fungal infections.